Fissures in state BJP over talks with separatists

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Harbans S Nagokay
Fissures are getting grave within state Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) over talks with separatists on handling Kashmir situation.
While one group is in favour of talks with separatists, the other believes that talks will ‘zero’ the party image in Jammu as well as across the country.
According to sources state BJP has dissenting voices from both the groups.
“One group says that this is the high time for the party leaders to make an impression among Kashmiri population to make ground in Muslim majority state. They are in favour of talks,” said sources, privy to the development.
They added that the other group resists any move from the party leaders regarding talks with the separatists. “They believe that any appeasement policy on the part of BJP will raze down party to zero,” said sources.
Moreover, sources said that while the one group feels that BJP has to follow ideals of former prime minister-Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
“We need to follow the steps that were taken by former prime minister to integrate Kashmiri people into national ambit. This is the time when we can show Kashmir that they are part of us and are not alienated,” said sources, quoting one of the BJP leaders.
Sources further added that to counter this claim, a member from other group stated that if policy of Vajpayee is repeated, than the party will be exposed to promote terrorists.
“Suppose if BJP leadership approaches separatists for talks to resolve deadlock over Kashmir imbroglio and separatists decline any invitation to meet BJP leadership, what would be the image of the party at national level,” asked BJP leader, wishing anonymity.
He said that chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had already requested the separatists to stop youth from  inciting violence, but they bluntly declined her proposal, which shows that separatists do not want to shun violence.
Meanwhile, political experts believe that of at this point BJP tried to talk to separatists, they will face repercussions in the upcoming Punjab and Uttar Pradesh elections.
“BJP will not dare to afford loss in these two important states,” political experts asserted, “If we look at the violence and government response, the best example we have is of Punjab, wherein after Akalis boycotted elections, Beant Singh became chief minister, who took several harsh decisions.
“He encouraged police and army to uproot terrorism, which the later ones did vehemently and Punjab is now terrorism free,” experts said and added though Beant Singh was killed but the credit of making Punjab terrorism free goes to him only.
Now coming back to prevailing situation, “If BJP openly talked to separatists, it will amount to surrender of the party before anti-nationals,” experts said.

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